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Obama Administration to Close Public Lands to Shale Development

Written by IER

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IER Statement on Administration's New Fracturing, Oil Shale Regulations

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Obama administration released today a draft of new Interior Department regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing that are designed to impose yet another layer of bureaucratic obstruction to full-scale development of America’s oil and natural gas resources.

Additionally, the administration released a plan to close public lands in Western states to oil shale development, effectively limiting access to a region that contain more than 1.5 trillion barrels of recoverable oil.

IER President Thomas Pyle released the following statement in response to the administration’s actions:

“The new rules appear to run counter to President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, in which he pledged to “take every possible action” to increase production on public lands. The damaging effects that these new rules will have on job creation and robust domestic energy development cannot be overstated.

On the one hand, the administration wants to take credit for increased production on state and private lands and for offshore lease sales that were scheduled five years ago. On the other hand, the administration continues an ideologically-driven quest to stifle job creation in the energy sector and to raise the cost of energy through more regulation, more mandates, and more restrictions on affordable sources. At best, this administration is suffering from acute energy schizophrenia. At worst, the administration is using brute administrative force to hurt the oil and gas industries and reward its green energy cronies.

“It is hard to believe the administration’s rhetoric about greater energy independence when its every action continues to lead America further away from that goal. And with record job creation now happening in the traditional energy sector, this latest tranche of regulations demonstrates just how willing the President is to kill the goose that’s laying the golden egg.”

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today's global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.

See Bureau of Land Managment Complete Draft, including Executive Summary

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